Coronavirus WA: COVID fears as cargo ship Darya Krishna with sick crew members arrives off Kalbarri

Caitlyn Rintoul and Peter LawThe West Australian
The Darya Krishina has several sick crew members onboard.
Camera IconThe Darya Krishina has several sick crew members onboard. Credit: Marine Traffic/Marine Traffic

A new COVID threat has emerged off the WA coast after authorities were alerted that a Perth-bound cargo vessel from Singapore has sick crew members.

Premier Mark McGowan on Sunday revealed the Darya Krishna, sailing off Kalbarri in the State’s Mid West, had reported four out of 20 staff with flu-like symptoms.

The vessel is expected to anchor in Gage Roads tomorrow and, if it doesn’t return to Asia due to the sickness, could dock in Fremantle by the end of the month.

Premier Mark McGowan.
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan. Credit: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 yet as there are no testing capabilities on board.

It’s suspected the crew may have caught the virus when they docked in the Indonesian port of Batam.

Mr McGowan said he was negotiating over the ship’s movement with his preference that the ship leave WA’s coast “as soon as possible to reduce the risk”.

“Apparently one (crew member) is very unwell which complicates matters. I don’t want risk, I don’t think West Australians want risk. I prefer this ship (to) just sail, that’s our preferred option,” he said.

“Obviously Indonesia is going through a very tough time. When the ships are in a place like Indonesia they shouldn’t be going ashore. What we need the shipping companies to step up.”

Mr McGowan said teleconferences would held with the ship’s crew and it was ultimately a Federal decision on whether the vessel berthed in Fremantle.

It’s suspected to be the fourth ship out of Indonesia with positive cases onboard.

Another cargo ship berthed at Fremantle Port is riddled with the fast-spreading Delta variant of COVID-19, genomic sequencing confirmed.

The BBC California, which departed Egypt last month before stopping in Indonesia on its way to WA, has eight active cases onboard.

Two previous cases from the ship are no longer active.

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